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How to Save $100 to $200 in Gas Just by Checking Your Tires

Jan 24, 2008
To maintain the proper air pressure in your tires takes very little effort. By doing that simple chore, you can save 4% on your annual gas costs. It is estimated that a 4% savings equates to between $100 and $200 per year. Just follow the advice listed here and start saving.

The manufacturer recommended air pressure for the tires on your car can vary greatly from model to model. It can range anywhere from 20 pounds to 50 pounds per square inch. So how do you find the correct pressure for your tires?

The proper tire inflation amount is usually found on a tire information sticker mounted somewhere on your car. This informational sticker is found in standard places on your car. The informational sticker can be found on the inside of the trunk, gas tank door or glove compartment. Sometimes it can be located on a car visor or on a post inside a car door or on the side of the door itself. The owner's manual will also list the tire pressure information or possibly indicate where the informational sticker is located.

Many drivers have the mistaken idea that the numbers on the tire sidewall indicate the correct pressure. This couldn't be farther from the truth. The information on air pressure listed on the tire is the maximum tire pressure that can safely be used in that grade tire. It also indicates the highest pressure that should be used in order to load the maximum weight in the vehicle.

When you find the information listing the correct tire pressure, you need to physically measure air pressure in all four tires to guarantee they are inflated properly. There are a few steps involved in doing this correctly.

To correctly measure and guarantee the proper tire pressure:

Step 1:

First you must have a tire air pressure gauge. This may sound silly but you would be surprised at how many people use sight to tell if a tire low. I don't recommend that you use the sight method, a gauge will be much more accurate. You don't need a fancy gauge. Any basic air pressure gauge will do, although I prefer the type with a dial as I find it easier to read than the type with a pop up indicator.

Step 2:

Check the tire air pressure informational sticker or the car operating manual to determine the manufacturer suggested pressure for your tires. Once you have that information you can proceed with the actual measurement.

Step 3:

A tire that is hot, or has just been driven on will have a higher air pressure than that same tire when it is cold. A cold tire is one that has not been driven for at least 3 hours or has been driven 1 mile or less. Air pressure should only be measured when tires are cold. If you measure warm tires your results will be faulty.

Step 4:

Press the pressure gauge onto the valve after removing the valve cap. Be sure the gauge is lined up with the valve properly and press hard so that the pressure gauge seals tightly on the valve. If you hear the whoosh of air escaping disengage the pressure meter from the valve and reseat it.You should not hear any air movement if you have the gauge properly seated. When it is seated correctly you can take the reading on the gauge.

Step 5:

If you find the pressure is low, add air to the tire until you get to the correct air pressure. If you find the tire is over inflated or you put too much air in the tire, you can lower the pressure by pushing on the metal stem at the center of the valve which will allow air to escape from the tire. Measure the air pressure again to make sure you have the correct level and adjust the air in or out again if needed. Repeat measuring and adding or purging air until the desired pressure is reached.

Step 6:

Repeat this same step by step procedure for the other tires. It only takes one low tire to rob you of fuel economy, so you need to measure all the tires.

The standard recommendation that tire experts suggest is to check your tire pressure at least once per month. The tire pressure will change from day to day as air permeates from the tire over time. Heat and driving conditions can accelerate the rate that air pressure is lost. If you are able to check the pressure once each month you can be sure that the tires on your car will remain at the proper pressure all the time.

Follow this advice and you will have more money in your pocket every time you fill up. At the end of the year you will have saved $100 to $200 dollars. It's that easy!
About the Author
Scott Siegel is the author of a 143 page manual of industry insider information
on saving gas and money at the pump (beatthegaspump.com). Visit us to learn how
you can get better gas mileage.
Find out how to increase gas
mileage
.
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